Friday, September 29, 2006
Our weekend is busy, as usual. I'm still bumming about vacation but need to get over myself.
I have my proposal chapters done. They're off with my critique partners right now and I need to get busy revamping my synopsis. But...today is Friday. I might take the day off.
Yesterday K1 was not feeling well and stayed home from school. He brought down a stack of movies and camped out on the couch. I spent all day working in the living room and watching movies with him. I got a lot of work done, saw two pretty decent movies and we had bonding time. A very good thing.
Watched "The Bourne Identity" - pretty good. Of course, watching Matt Damon was easy.
"Silent Hill" - I was intrigued by the trailers for this but wasn't sure if I wanted to actually see it. I thought it would turn out to be a slasher movie. It wasn't. Yeah, it was kind of scary. I liked it though. Made me think and now I have a few odd ideas rolling around in my brain from both movies. And, it had Sean Bean in it. Not to hard to watch him either.
Enjoy the weekend!
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I'm bummed. Completely and totally bummed.
We're not going on our annual beach vacation this year. The reasons are many and the decision not to go this year was the right one. Except...I need that darn vacation.
I love the pre-trip excitement - the obnoxious emails counting down the days, hours and minutes until we leave, the planning gatherings, actually celebrating "Talk Like a Pirate Day" with excitement and anticipation for what lies ahead and, believe it or not, I love the organizing and preparing, the packing and even the cleaning.
Finally arriving at the beach and sucking in that cleansing breath of ocean air makes every tension vanish and seems to solve every problem. There's just something about waking up and staring out into the huge expanse of water that helps to center me. The relaxation of the week makes the other 51 weeks worthwhile. Everything is better at the beach.
Not to mention, we have more fun than I could ever explain. Our group is large, loud and obnoxious. Everyone gets along. The only problems we've ever had are caused by our sheer number. There is no such thing as a quick highway stop to use the restroom. Eating out usually stresses the wait staff and nets us a private dining room if possible. There are so many of us that we are usually able to receive a group discount. Most of us are related - those that aren't should be.
And we're all mourning vacation. It doesn't matter that we know the decision not to go was a required one. It's been proven necessary and a relief due to different changes in each of our families. We've been known to say, "I guess it is a good thing we're not going this year." Maybe it is. But none of us truly believe it is a good thing.
After all, a bad day at the beach is way better than a good day at home...
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
There was nothing to guess at in my bathroom this week. Though what I found Saturday morning was interesting...and gross. K3 has frequent nosebleeds - allergies, change of season - you get the picture. Saturday morning I woke up to the aftermath of one such nosebleed. Apparently it started when he sneezed. Looked like a massacre - blood dotted every available surface, along with the smears of his attempts to clean up. Poor kid - the nosebleed happened again shortly after we finally arrived at the field and kept him out of the game. Like you really needed to know that...
Did you notice all the nonsense to the left? See that! Yes. I finished the book. Now it'll sit for a few days while I take care of the 0's underneath. Those are projects that need to be revised and sent back out into the big scary world.
I'll try to do better this week. I did actually have a post written earlier but it vanished right before my eyes. It was full of insight and deep thought...okay, okay - it was mostly nonsense but I was still sad to see it go.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I love Fall. The colors, the smell, the chill in the air - I love burning pumpkin spice candles and making cookies and chili. And Halloween - I love Halloween. I could go on but I think you get the picture. For me, Fall fills me with a sense of peace. I don't know why. It just does.
You will all think I'm crazy but I love Winter too. Wait - let me clarify. I hate being cold. I love snow. Snowstorms are my absolute favorite. When everyone else goes to the store to buy toilet paper, milk and bread, I hit the snack aisle. I love watching the snow pile up, making snow forts and snowmen, and following the storm on The Weather Channel. I love staying up late and watching Lord of the Rings for the millionth time while peeking out the window at the white flakes falling down. Add a Christmas tree to the scene and I don't think life could get any better. Yeah. I know. It's weird but there's just something about being snowed in. I hope for piles and piles of snow this winter.
Sure, my opinion is bound to change by February. It always does but I always start Winter looking forward to the snow.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I be workin' and then be discoverin' I be missin' this important day. "Talk Like a Pirate Day" be important to me and me hardys and we be nearly missin' it. We should be emailin' pirate speak already but be sorely behind. This day usually be awash in excitement 'bout our yearly beach trip. 'Tis sad that no such pleasure be awaitin' us this season.
Even I be findin' some funny videos 'bout talking like pirates. I be too lame brained to be postin' links.
Avast, ye scurvy dogs! Be it not too late - get out there and be talkin' like a pirate!
What's on my desk? (I technically have two desks. Well, one's actually an antique table. That's where I write. Otherwise known as "sacred ground")
On the Writing table:
my laptop, cordless keyboard and mouse. USB Floppy Disc drive.
A notebook, my progress sheet, jump drive cap, favorite pen and a CD case.
On the "House" Desk:
The computer - duh...
Men's black dress pants (borrowed and waiting to be returned to my dad)
A stack of papers - including the younger two's football/cheerleading pictures (cute!), school papers, a college catalog, cheerleading hair tie, cook book, kid magazine, receipts and grocery store coupons - that's all I can discern from here and I'm not going through the stack!
My library card, house calendar, writing calendar, an old cell phone, the house phone, a calculator, a basket with more weird items - including headphones, camping magazines (for research and recreation)
A basket with pens & pencils and probably more odds and ends at the bottom. A framed photograph of me, my youngest sister and our "adopted" sister at the beach last year.
Yeah, I know. That's so exciting you can't stand it.
Sorry but I need to get to work!
Monday, September 18, 2006
1. What's the most horrible response you've received when telling someone you write? Did you have a snappy response or end up thinking of a dozen polite, but pointed, comebacks later on?
2. How long do you wait before telling a new acquaintance that you're a romance author? Do you tell them instantly or wait until you've established some kind of common ground?
3. Are there occasions where you don't mention your writing career? And if so, what are they? Does it depend on the situation, comments you've heard that person make or your mood?
4. Do you ever feel like you have to defend the genre? Or is the response usually pleasant and accepting?
5. Is it different once you're published? Or do you still want to hide under a table when someone asks you what you do?
6. What's the best response you've ever received?
7. If you're a mom and all your kids are in school all day, do people ask you if you're going to get a "real" job? Does your response depend on the situation, the person or what?
I ask for two reasons. One because I'm curious and nosy. :) The other because sometimes I don't tell people I write. And there are many reasons for that. I'm proud of what I do, don't get me wrong. But there are times that I don't feel like talking about it, especially if I've had a bad day/week or whatever. I'm always a little unsure of how people are going to respond, even though I've had several awesome reactions. I've had several less than awesome reactions. Nothing nasty or demeaning - just the blank stare and the end of what had been a pleasant conversation. I guess maybe that kind of response is what makes me a little cautious. Why is telling people that you write so much different than other careers? Or is it?
Am I odd?
I have more questions but I'll save them for later.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
115 pages until I can call this book done. Hopefully by the end of this coming week. Then, edits.
This weekend has been pretty nuts - which is why it's taken me until Sunday to update on Friday's progress. This afternoon should be calmer...I can only hope.
Friday, September 15, 2006
So the "yesterday" on the below post was really for Thursday. I wrote it last night but my eyeballs were bleeding and I decided to save it for today. I'm still shaking my head about that...
Believe it or not, nothing interesting, gross or thought provoking in my bathroom this week. After a summer full of walking in there and shaking my head at the absurdity of some of the things I've found, well, it figures.
Okay, so I'm procrastinating right now. I will make that progress meter move today. Just wait...
Thursday, September 14, 2006
When B and I first started dating, we were still in high school. He was in a work release program and left everyday at lunchtime. Often, he'd call my mother after he left, claiming to be a truant officer with the school and did she know that her daughter was absent - again? Yeah. He's lucky she didn't ground me, or him, for that fact.
So, yesterday...It's after the high school has dismissed for the day. A little too soon for my oldest to be home but not unheard of. The doorbell rings. It's his best friend. Here's how it went:
Him: Is he home?
Me: No, he's not in from school yet.
Him: Oh, uh, he wasn't at school today.
Me: What? He better have been.
Him: He wasn't there. (strange look of - oh crap, I just ratted out my best friend - crosses his face.) Tell him I'll see him later.
Me: I don't think you will be seeing him.
(Paraphrased, but you get the picture.)
And I'm freaking out trying to decide what to do. I call the school, ask if he was counted in attendance this morning and ask all kind of questions about the possibility of him cutting later in the day. Hang up and call the kid. Ask him where he is.
At this point, my hands are shaking. I'm worried, angry but calm on the outside.
He says he's on his way home from school. In the background, I hear laughter. His best friend's laughter.
Yeah. I was played. Big time.
I call the school back, explain that it was a joke. All is well there.
The two of them walk in the back door, laughing and apologizing.
Okay. So it was funny. And I should know better. I mean, I live in a house with people who all act like this all the time!
And, no, I've never done a thing like this.
Okay, so that's a lie. The kid gets it from both sets of DNA.
What do you have to do before you can write? I don't mean looking over the previous days progress either. Does your coffee cup have to be in the exact same spot? Do you have a routine you go through first - checking email, blog reading, household chores, or doesn't it matter what you do at the beginning of your writing day?
What about your submission process? Is it always the same? When you go to the post office, does it matter which postal worker you get? And then after - after you've recovered from the huge hole in your stomach that arrived as you were leaving the post office - what do you do? Celebrate? And if so, is it always the same? Does it matter, or does it have to be the same?
I guess I have a routine - not set in stone by any means. And it depends on the day and how much time I've had before rushing the kids to school. Sometimes I don't have time to clear the debris from the morning feeding frenzy. Sometimes I come home with the initial "must do" chores already finished and can go right to work. Not that I usually do. Email always gets checked - even if I've had time to do it before the kids leave.
For submissions I'm a little on the freaky side. The desk and table have to be clean. I babysit the printer, but that's more to keep the pages from falling to the floor. Things have to be a certain way for me to feel confident. I'm not too particular about which postal person processess my submission, but I like to get the ones who understand how important the package is to me. I always have a moment of panic once I get back into the car. I want to (but have never, ever done it) go back in and demand my package back to "just make sure everything is there". I call B and he talks me down.
And then we celebrate a little. We pull down my special glasses and find something interesting to put inside. This is usually accompanied by some discussion about how cool it would be if this time was it. I have to admit though, I seem to have lost some of the desire to talk about that - I guess constant rejection will do that to a person. I don't want to lose the celebration though because that's important. The accomplishment deserves to be recognized and toasted. There should be hope. Truthfully, I think the hope is there - it's just buried under fear. If the hope was gone, this whole thing would be pointless. Right?
So, do you have a routine or is it more obsession? Tell me I'm not alone in the odd things that I seem to do, especially when I submit.
(In other news...K3 had his eye recheck today and all is well. K2 got a call back for auditions for the fall play. She's there right now and I'm nervously waiting for her call.)
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Don't know if I'll get anything done this evening or not. As of right now, I'm going with not - except for some material I need to take care of for one of my critique partners. She's in a hurry. I'm braindead. Seems like a fair trade off to me.
Yeah. Totally boring post. Sorry. I don't think anyone is reading this anyway. LOL
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Become a hermit, that is.
Some days I dread going out.
It's nothing except the simple fact that I'd rather stay here and write. I don't feel like that on the weekends. Well, not usually - but that's mostly not an option around here. I do have to admit I love the idea of being snowed in.
I don't watch TV much and never during the day, so I don't know what's going on in the world. We don't get the paper and I'd much rather listen to my music than flip on the radio. Do you see where I'm going with this?
Becoming a hermit threatens my social skills. Admittedly, I don't have many social type skills to begin with. I'm a pretty shy person. (shut up, it's true) More than that, becoming a hermit threatens my writing skills. It puts me in a box with no window to the outside world so I can see how people act/react/interact. That's not good for creating believable characters and dialogue. That dries up the well and kills the creativity.
So I have to watch the becoming a hermit threat. I'm going out for a little bit today. Someplace different (translation: not the grocery store). Maybe just to grab a take out lunch or window shop at a store I'm never brave enough to go to with the crew.
But maybe this sudden urge to go out is just a form of procrastination?
Monday, September 11, 2006
That's a reflection of probably one of my best production days ever! 50 pages!
I'm not sure how I managed that but believe me when I say I think I'm brain damaged now. My eyes are gritty and one of my thumbs hurts. I know...Wah!
Most of what I wrote is pretty much garbage. The story has gone in a direction I hadn't planned. I like it, but some of the beginning will need rewritten. That's okay by me. I've accomplished one of my goals for the week - to beat last week's measly page count.
Okay - answers to the guessing game - not that anyone probably really cares.
1. A seed pod from a catalpa tree.
2. Two cosmetology mannequin heads. (They were there and then then were gone. The only thing left behind was clumps of mannequin hair. I found them again in the kitchen, being made over by my daughter and her friend. Then I found one in the freezer. It had a mohawk and a beard. I'm really sure you don't want to know why it was in the freezer. Trust me.)
As for the big pile of grass. Been there, done that. Yes. It's happened before, just not last week.
Yeah, I know most people hate Mondays. I used to. Today, I realized I don't anymore. Yeah, it's hard to get the kids moving and out the door on time. Heck, it's hard to get myself moving - especially after the awesome, busy weekend we had.
Now, once the hectic, morning dust settles, I can write and I'm ecstatic. My house is quiet, except for the hum of the washer and the occasional odd, old house noise. Soon, I'll plant my butt in the chair. And try my darndest to achieve more than the measly 43 pages I managed last week.
I'll give the answer to my guessing game later.
Friday, September 08, 2006
I'll leave you this little guessing game. Hopefully better than last week's. Still no prize but you'll get the satisfaction of a job well done. :)
What two things did I actually find in the bathroom this week:
1. A seed pod from a catalpa tree.
2. Two cosmetology mannequin heads.
3. A big pile of grass.
We're off for a weekend of excellent type fun.
Hope you all have a glorious weekend!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Or some cosmic disturbance surrounding my house? Is tomorrow really Friday?
This week can not be over soon enough! My brain is deep fried - possibly burnt. I will not bore you with the dramatic details. Except to say that K3 ended up at the Opthamologist for his eye. The doc thinks it's a viral thing. More eye drops and a recheck in a week. So far so good. (and definitely a relief)
Is anyone else having a rough week? Writing or just life in general? Is it the full moon?
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I can't remember the exact wording, but the gist was that he had x amount of hours and should be able to write x amount of pages per hour and be done with the whole book. (I think it was 4 hours, 100 pages per hour - a 400 page book finished - but am not sure.) All I know is, I laughed out loud and so did B. As if and I wish.
I have to admit when I started writing, I had many misconceptions. I knew nothing about genre, point of view, formatting - really anything. All I knew was that I had a story I needed to tell. So I wrote. Page upon page of extensive descriptions, paragraphs with four different points of view, I didn't have chapters - I didn't know how to do that.
And then I went to my first writer's group meeting. I was a newbie and it showed. That first meeting, I remember finding out how to format my pages. Astounding! Who would have guessed? I felt at home there - so I kept going back and kept learning. Then I joined a critique group. The thought of putting my work on the chopping block scared me to death. I sucked up my fear and sent the pages. When I got them back, I cried.
I thought about quitting, but obviously didn't. I fixed the pages. Then, I was ready to take the next step. The Query. I sent the letter and synopsis, disregarding the harsh fact that first novels rarely see publication. That didn't apply to me! The editor requested the full manuscript. Everyone was wrong, I just knew it.
Okay, so obviously, I had misconceptions. I still do. I'm well aware of it but that doesn't stop me from pushing forward. I think some misconceptions are good. Sort of the "Ignorance is Bliss" frame of mind and a definite bend in the learning curve. Would I have submitted that manuscript had I known of it's eventual rejection?
Now I'm at the point where I'm asking myself what the point of this post is? :)
The thing is, all of that is part of the learning process we take on when we decide to pursue publication. It's not instant and it's different for everyone. People tell you - but you can't believe until you've experienced the sting of multiple rejections or a sea of red on your polished pages after a critique round.
I've learned and am still learning. I now know the harsh facts of this business, but maybe I'm far enough on the learning curve to know that if I work hard enough the results I envision will become reality. I also know there's a chance it will never happen for me and that doesn't have anything to do with the quality of my writing. Is it going to change anything for me? No. Because it's there. Writing is part of my soul.
And yeah, I have a ton of misconceptions regarding actually being published. But I'll deal with those when I get there.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I should know better. I really should. My routine is never predictable. Today has K3 home from school. His swollen eye from Thursday turned into nasty, nasty pink eye. The doc had me a basket case because he had more red and pain that he should have. She gave me a list of instructions, including calling immediately and going to the ER if the pain worsened or his vision changed. I was freaking. I still am a little. He started his meds on Sunday, and though the eye looks much better, it's still very red and swollen. Too red and swollen for school or football practice tonight. On top of that, he has strep throat. His fever finally broke yesterday and by last night he was able to eat again, but not much. (anyone that knows this child, knows that him missing a meal is serious.)
So, I've had to alter my plans for today. K3 is curled up on the couch watching Harry Potter - offering commentary every few minutes. He's well aware that once I move to the laptop that I'm working. We discussed it when I decided to keep him home. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can get at least a few pages done today.
I rearranged my work space yesterday. Hopefully my feng lines up with my shui now and I can stay at my little table without feeling the forces of doom press down on me. Weird stuff that bad feng shui. I always end up moving my laptop to the dining room table. And I did the kind of housework that I hate doing. Taking the shutters down and scrubbing them, rolling up the rug, moving the furniture and scrubbing every inch of the floors, among other things. Stupid, time consuming stuff. But it's done now and I'm feeling pretty organized again.
Played with my profile last night. On the left, right there beside this post. It's pretty goofy, but B said he liked it and urged me to leave it alone for now. What do you think?
Sunday, September 03, 2006
I signed on here and felt a pang of guilt that my word meter hasn't moved all weekend. I worked my butt off last week - 130 or so pages - but yet, I feel like it wasn't enough.
Taking down time to recharge the mental batteries and refill the well is important. I mean, what would I have to write about if I didn't? The best ideas usually come after a break. It's not like my brain has totally shut down with thoughts of my work in progress. Last night I dreamt of my story and now have a germ of an idea that's floating through the enormous vacancy in my head. By the time I sit down again, I'll know what it is and where to put it. That's a cool thing.
Weekend writing time is a bonus. That's how I should view it. I need to get over myself. If I get time to write a few pages, great. If I don't, well, that's fine too.
Have a great holiday!
Friday, September 01, 2006
It's been a slow week around here - bathroom wise.
We have a dog, a cat, several hermit crabs and a rat...but no lizard.
It was the chocolate pudding. Yeah. I know. Lame. It wasn't in the trash but perched on the edge of the tub. K2 ate it while she was in the shower. That's probably the weird part.
And the gum. But you figured that one out. Obvious.
Hey! What do you want? I said I was tweaking here. :) Hopefully next week I'll find more exciting things to share!
Oh...and check out the progress meter! 22 pages so far today!
Have a great holiday weekend! Oh, and don't worry...I'll be back!!
On to the "issue".
I'm not 100% sure where it stems from. I think several bad experiences - gum in my hair when I was a kid - several times. I'm trying to come up with a definitive and I can't. It's the smell, mostly, and the way it sticks to places it shouldn't be - probably just an accumulative type issue with roots in places I've forgotten - except for the smells.
I will chew gum on occasion - not often because it makes my jaw hurt. I'm not freaky enough that I forbid it in my house. I did for a while, but that was mainly because I would constantly find spent gum in odd places. Now that the kids are older and at least respect my weirdness, it's okay. As long as they keep in in their mouths and make sure it makes it into the trash can.
Maybe just not the bathroom trash can.
A non-exciting issue. To be sure.